Virginia On Track for Record Year Despite Drop in Volumes

The Port of Virginia Authority, Norfolk, continues its march toward a record-setting calendar year despite a slight drop of 2.5 percent in November cargo volumes, compared to the same period in 2014, as the industry’s traditional busy season nears its end.

In November, the port handled 203,472 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). As forecasted, breakbulk tonnage saw a decline of 7.5 percent, while vehicle units continued to grow with the port having handled 2,675 cars, an increase of 45 percent when compared to November 2014.

“Our performance in November was not a surprise as this is a traditional time of year for volume to wane as peak season comes to an end,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

“Peak season tapered early and was a bit muted across the industry. We dipped 5,300 TEUs, but our total TEU volumes for the month still exceeded 200,000 units.”

“We are seeing solid growth for the calendar year (+7.4 percent) as well as for the first five months of the fiscal year (+4.3 percent). Our strategy of continued reinvestment to improve our delivery of service in all phases of the operation remains our primary focus as we look out to both the short- and long-terms.”

Port of Virginia’s barge terminal on the James River, the Port of Richmond, saw its most productive November with 1,946 TEUs handled, a 9.6 percent increase when compared to last year. A new mobile harbor crane is set to arrive at the Port of Richmond toward the end of December.

“This new piece of equipment is the first step of our long-term investment strategy at the Port of Richmond,” Reinhart said.

“Fine-tuning the operation there and investing in cargo conveyance equipment will boost productivity and help that terminal serve as a catalyst for economic development in and around the Commerce Road corridor.”

Compared to November last year, rail units were up 8.2 percent, Virginia Inland Port (VIP) volume was up 1.2 percent, truck volume was up 7.6 percent and vehicle units were up 70 percent.

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